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Govt allows 414 Indian seafarers stuck in Italy to return on chartered flights

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on May 16, 2020

The government has allowed 414 Indian seafarers stranded in Italy to return on chartered flights, according to an Ministry of Home Affairs order.

Belonging to Goa, the 414 seafarers will be repatriated on specially chartered B-737 aircraft arranged by Costa Cruises.

“MHA has no objection to carrying out immigration functions in respect of 414 Indian nationals coming to India (Dabolim Airport, Goa) from Italy through three special chartered B-737 aircraft arranged by Costa Cruises (tentatively on May 20), subject to production of a no objection certificate/permission from competent authority in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Directorate General of Civil Aviation,” the order issued by the MHA on May 16 said.

 

Many Indian seafarers working on cruise ships across the globe were stranded on the luxury liners after the outbreak of coronavirus forced cruise line operators to suspend services.

Cruise line owners had offered to evacuate the Indian crew on chartered flights as was done in the case of Indonesian and Philippines crew, but a government wary of easing the international travel restrictions to combat the pandemic, refused to budge so far.

Since April 24, two cruise liners – Marella Discovery and Seven Seas Voyager - travelled to India just to drop off 313 Indian crew on board.

Published on May 16, 2020

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